The Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Years ago, Roy Orbison recorded one of the great rock and roll classics, entitled, “Only the Lonely.” A couple of the lines from the song were, “Only the lonely know the way I feel tonight. . . . Only the lonely know the heartaches I've been through.” That song resonated with a lot of lonely people who knew what it was like to be isolated, rejected, or abandoned.
Maybe you've been abandoned — perhaps it was by your parents, your spouse, or your children. Or maybe you even feel that you've been abandoned by God Himself. There are many people who feel estranged and alienated from God. Even if they have everything they want in life, they may still face a deep, inner loneliness.
We read in John 5 of a man at the pool of Bethesda who was in a seemingly hopeless situation. He had been abandoned. He was uncared for and unable to help himself. What’s more, he’d been in that condition for many long, weary years. He must have been desperately lonely.
In this account, we learn that Jesus changed the man’s life forever. It’s a story that tells you and me how to change as well. Before Jesus brought transformation and healing into this man’s life, however, He first asked him a rather pointed question: “Do you want to be made well?”
What if Jesus asked you the same question? Is there something that needs healing or changing in your life? Do you want to be made well? Maybe it’s an addiction to a certain vice or a lifestyle you are trapped in. Maybe it’s something you've tried to shake time and time again. Or maybe it’s an old hatred or resentment, nursed along over the months and years and becoming more and more toxic with the passing of time.
Jesus turned the course of this man’s life around forever, giving him the ability to live a life free from loneliness and the power of sin. We can live that life too — the ability to break old habits and to forgive old hurts and resentments. He has all the transforming power we need, but we must “want to be made well.”